Cluster vs stacking

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Joseph W. Doherty Thu, 05/08/2008 - 16:28
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Stacking often provides a physical cable with higher bandwidth; one advantage of the stack solution vs. a cluster solution. Stacks might be just a little easier to config in that the stack will usually recognize new stack members where, I think, you need to initially configure a device to be a cluster member.

Sushil Kumar Katre Sat, 05/10/2008 - 01:05
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Hi DJ,

To start with Stacking is not supported on all the switches. Its only supported on 3750 and 3750E switches, where you have dedicated stacking interfaces on the switches and you connect these switches using the stacking interfaces. Usually these interfaces are of higher capacity. For example 3750 supports 32Gbps stacking bandwidth while 3750E supports 64Gbps. Thus you have a higher bandwidth between the switches if you are stacking the switches.

If you have any other switch you need to go for clustering. Again, while clustering the swithces the connectivity would depend on the interface available on the switch. THe only advantage of clustering over connecting the switches without clustering is management. When you cluster the switch you can manage multiple switch through single IP address. However connectivity wise its as good as connecting these switches without stacking.

-> Sushil

Richard Burts Mon, 05/19/2008 - 10:47
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There may be several options for how to connect the switches depending on what kind of switches they are and how you want to treat them. If both switches are going to have a single VLAN and the same VLAN on both switches, then connecting on an access port should work. If the switches are going to have several VLANs or each switch is on a separate VLAN then a trunk port should work. If the switches are layer 3 switches and if you want different subnets on each switch then making the connection a routed interface should work.

Of the various options probably the trunk port is the most simple and most safe.




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